Apple joins OpenJDK effort
Three weeks ago Apple shocked the Java community by releasing a Java update on which the main "feature" was that they were deprecating Java on OS X. What this means is that Apple will no longer continue to develop its own Java Virtual Machine for its operating system. This caused many people to react against Apple, and think that Java development on Macs was dead, and even said that they would stop using a Mac. Interestingly enough, I didn’t see actual cases of people dropping their MacBooks to the floor, stomping on them and then buying another laptop. And now they won’t have to.
Today Oracle and Apple announced that most of the Apple JVM customizations for OS X will be contributed to the OpenJDK project, which is Oracle’s main effort for evolving Java. From the press release:
The Java developer community can rest assured that the leading edge Java environment will continue to be available on Mac OS X in the future
They also mention that Java 6 will be available from Apple for the time being, including a release for their upcoming 10.6 release Lion. Java 7 and future Java releases will be available from Oracle. In short, Java will continue to be available on Macs in the near and the far future.
It is interesting that when the "Java is deprecated" news came, many people said that Apple was doing the same thing to Java that they were doing to Flash. But contrary to Flash, where Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs publicly denounced it with an open letter, with Java they’re still showing commitment in having a compatible JVM for OS X. So, Apple is not the evil company that wants to root out everything that doesn’t come from inside their company.